Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On Tap, Plans, and Smokestack Series

Right now, this is what I have on tap at home:

My Uber-Saison, which I call "Beaucoup Belgian Farmhouse Ale." - Yum...Tasty!

A barleywine that I brewed in November 2003, "Tenacious Curmudgeon." - Wonderfully complex!

A recent, 3-month old American Style Barleywine, which I call "Event Horizon." - Yowza!

That's right, no low-gravity stuff at the ol' homestead.

It's soon to be rectified, though. My latest batch of "Sherpa Porter" should be pouring by this weekend. Not that it's very light...it'll finish at about 6.5%ABV. I did pick up the grain for a simple American Pale Ale, the other day. I'll see if I can find the time to brew it on Sunday afternoon. I haven't brewed an APA in a while. I need a good "session ale" at home, so I don't have to buy a commercial version.

By the way, I've tried all of the new "Smokestack Series" of ales from Boulevard Brewing here in Kansas City. The beers are packaged in 750 ml champagne bottles with cork-and-cage closures. The first four in this series to be released are "Boulevard Saison," a farmhouse ale, "Long Strange Tripel," a Trappist-style abbey beer, "Double-Wide I.P.A.," and "The Sixth Glass," a Belgian-style quadrupel ale. My favorite of the Series is the Double-Wide IPA. It tastes like a well-made homebrewed ale (like an IPA that I might make). The Saison is just "okay" for a Saison, and I think the Tripel is a little too one-dimensional. The Quad is a nice one, though. So two really nice brews (out of four) ain't bad. I can't wait to see what else they'll be offering, in the near future.

Things are looking up (here), beer-wise.

9 comments:

Travis said...

Wow, that's some high octane stuff you got on tap there. Good for you in aging a brew three years. I am a patient man, but we all have limits!

Ben, aka BadBen said...

I usually have a few brews that I age "for posterity." Last Christmas, I opened a bottle of blackberry mead of mine from a 1995 batch. (I had not realized it was in my collection, until then). It was a nice surprise, and I shared it with a character who could appreciate it. Usually, 5 years is the maximum for my "aging window."
Happy brewing,
Bad Ben

Brian said...

Nice tap list!

Good to hear that you've got a saison on tap, let me ask you-how long do you age your saisons?

Ben, aka BadBen said...

It depends upon the gravity...Saison is a wide-ranging style. I just put this one on tap and it's 3-1/2 months old. It would age nicely, at 8.4% ABV, though. I'll bottle-age some of this batch.

Daniel said...

I'm a huge fan of the Saison style and recently just brewed my first batch of beer ever (yes a saison) using full grain mash. I wonder if you would share your recipe or at least the profile of your Saison?

I followed a recipe I found online using 1762 - Belgian Abby Ale II (the Saison yeast was unavailable) and kräusened with lager wort.

Belgian Pale: 11lbs
Crystal .2oz
1 tsp Chocolate Malt
Malted Wheat: 1lb
Goldings: .5oz
Hallertaur: 1.2oz
.25oz Coriander Seed

Striking in at 164º and holding at 152º. It was Fermented for almost two weeks at 68º before moving to secondary.

It turned out well, clean and refreshing, with good cloves and banana on nose, but after time the lager yeast absorbed many of the good esters. I have to say not bad for my first beer.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Daniel,
Congratulations! My first batch of beer (19 years ago) was all-grain, also. It's the only way to go. In my opinion, extract brewing is more akin to "cooking" than to actual brewing. (Sorry, extract brewers...yes, I'm a brewing snob). I'll post my "Uber Saison" recipe soon, (and maybe a couple of others).

Happy brewing,
Bad Ben

Lee said...

Wow, can I move in with you?

I'm in KC about twice a year, and always happy to get Boulevard (they just started distributing in Texas earlier this year, but they don't get down here to Austin). I've tried the Smokestacks and liked them in this order: Tripel, Saison, then IPA. That surprised me, because I'm normally a hophead and expected to love the IPA best. It's great, but that Tripel was perfect. Still haven't had the quad yet, but I'll be in KC for the holidays very soon and have a bottle waiting on me.

Lee said...

P.S. I see your other homepage is about running. I wish I could join you for a run (before we sit down for a beer, of course), but unfortunately, my toes and hamstring and back have all gone bad over the past few years. I used to be pretty serious about it. I briefly ran for the Texas Longhorns, and I am still (after 21 years!) the Rockdale (Texas) High School record holder in the mile and 2 miles. Sadly, I have to swim and bicycle for exercise now. It's fun, but nothing compares to running. I'm pretty psyched up because I have tickets to next summer's Olympic Track & Field Trials, in Eugene, Oregon — which, by the way, is also a pretty great state to find a tasty beer.

maswey said...

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